This year, summertime meant some fun new things in my kitchen endeavors. I've had several projects going, and thought I'd take a minute to share a little about them.
The most exciting, I think, is learning to brew Kombucha at home! Jeff and I have been enjoying this refreshing, healthful beverage for several years now. It's a bit pricey to buy at the store, though, and when a friend offered to give me a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) - also called a "mushroom," so that I could make my own, I jumped at it.
I followed the directions in Nourishing Traditions (also found here), and found an excellent explanation of how to flavor the Kombucha here (think summer berries...yum!). We have all been loving this beverage. It's such a nice alternative to soda! The boys absolutely love it.
Another project has been learning to make lacto-fermented vegetables. You've already heard about my bread and butter pickles. I also dabbled in dills, lacto-fermented beets, and most recently, lacto-fermented berry preserves.
And last but not least, I finally did it. I defrosted, cut up, ground, cooked, served, and ate beef heart. Yup! And what's more, it was good. Here's what I did: I mixed 1/2 a pound of ground beef heart (thank you, food processor!) with regular ground grass-fed beef for a meatloaf. I did not inform my children of the addition, though my husband knew every detail. The results? Those of us who like meatloaf, finished what we were served and had another helping. Those who don't like meatloaf (one picky soul), didn't like it. But no surprises there!
For the rest of the ground heart, I again mixed it with ground grass-fed beef for a hearty pasta sauce. It was delicious! Next time, I'd like to add more tomatoes to the mix, but beyond that, I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. (ba-dum-ching!)
Yep, it was an adventurous summer in my kitchen. I have no idea what the fall and winter will bring, but I'm looking forward to finding out!